This section is 12.3 miles (19.7km) long - a map of it can be downloaded below.
The source of the River Thames lies in a remote Cotswold meadow beneath the boughs of an elderly ash tree. For much of the year this spring is dry and you may find the bed of the Thames remains without water for some distance, especially during the summer.
The infant river
Your route following the infant river wanders through pastures and small Cotswold villages characterised by creamy stonework buildings with stone slate roofs. These are ideal places to enjoy a break as most villages have excellent local pubs.
You'll also pass through the Cotswold Water Park that has 140 lakes created mostly from gravel extraction. Some lakes are managed solely for wildlife and therefore this is a great place for bird watching.
Just before Cricklade the Thames Path skirts around the edge of North Meadow. This National Nature Reserve is where, in late April, the rare snakeshead fritillary flowers in unimaginable numbers, a truly tremendous sight.
The pleasant small town of Cricklade dates way back to Saxon times. It's also where the right of upstream navigation ends although it's now difficult for all but the smallest boats to get very far upstream from Lechlade.